NEC ND-3550A = Junk

I purchased an NEC ND-3550A burner on 12/1/2006. I tried for 10 hours to flash the drive and it would just not flash. If you can name it, I did it:

  1. Downloaded “NECND3550_v106.exe” from the NEC site.
    Error message was “Target NEC ND-3550A is not found correctly”
  2. Disconnected all other DVD drives. I even tried Safe Mode.
  3. Downloaded Binflash v1.34 DOS utility and the “original 1.06” BIOS firmware from Liggy’s.
  4. Booted from a floppy, backed up drive BIOS, and when I tried to flash, received this error:
    Binflash - NEC version - © by Herrie and Liggy
    Visit http://binflash.cdfreaks.com - http://www.herrie.org

Identified drive: 10
Detected drive from Firmware: 10

Entering safe mode
Error entering safe mode

  1. I then took my old LS-120 IDE floppy from storage, put all necessary files on it, and disconnected all my hard drives. The only drives connected to the system were the NEC and the LS-120. They were on separate IDE cables. Even my standard 1.44 MB floppy was disabled.

  2. I also tried the Binflash v1.34 Windows utility but I still got the “Error entering safe mode” message.

No matter what I tried, the NEC would just not flash. I am not trying to cross flash or even use a nonstandard firmware. All I tried to do was update it from v1.G3 to v1.06. After 10 solid hours, I have given up on this piece of crap and I am returning the drive.

I had the same problem with my NEC ND-2500A 2 years ago. Because the 2500A came in a Pacific Digital box, the official NEC firmware would not work either. Only Pacific Digital’s firmware worked on the 2500A. This 3550A is OEM from a small computer store. Even after 2 years, NEC still has not gotten their act together. In addition, the 3550’s playback is worse than my 2 year old 2500 because the 3550 spins at maximum speed during DVD movies. Any drive which spins at 16x or 8x for 2 hours for every single movie is going wear out faster, not to mention be very loud.

This is the last time I ever buy an NEC drive of any type. BTW, my 2500 is not great either: Earlier this year it completely stopped reading and writing CD’s. I hardly ever used it for CD’s. I took the 2500 apart to clean it but it didn’t help.

The 1.G* firmwares are some special builds, which in turn can only be updated with another 1.G* firmware. The next Binflash version which I expect to release during the next few days, should (hopefully) include a proper support for these drives. These drives usually should not be retail drives.

Is there any way to flash the BIOS on the 3550 to downshift the speed of DVD movie playback so it’s not screaming at 16x or 8x RPM speeds? I don’t want to manually do this by using “Nero DriveSpeed.” This would involve constantly changing the speeds in Nero DriveSpeed for everything in every movie. Since I never had to do this for my other drives, I shouldn’t have to do this for a new burner. If I can’t fix this problem by Monday, I’m going to return the unit and get a BenQ DW1650.

Actually you are trying to cross-flash. The 1.G3 firmware is used on OEM drives sold for DVD duplicators.

The 1.06 is for Retail/Bulk drives, not OEM drives.

The best course of action is to push the drive back on the vendor, it’s not NEC fault that someone is pushing OEM drives into the retail channel.

Brother Vlad

What’s the difference besides the non-crossflashability?
I’m just curious :smiley:

Is there any difference, other than the firmware version, between a 3550 v1.G3 drive and a retail/bulk drive? What about DVD playback? If I were to upgrade v1.G3 to v1.06, would the DVD playback be silent, not at 16x or 8x?

If you want silent playback, why dont you try something like anydvd or nero drive speed? worked fine with all my nec drives.

Thanks for your quick reply. I mentioned this before in a previous post. If you use this method, you must manually change the speed every time you want to fast forward for any reason. All my other drives don’t require any program to control them.

Just return the drive and look at some of the other burners. I don’t like it spinning at full speed either when playing dvds and this will not be fixed.

Chris,
you’re right and thanks for the advice. I am going to return it Tuesday morning. It’s amazing how NEC has stumbled on their burner quality. My 2 year old NEC ND-2500A doesn’t have this speed problem. However, perhaps not surprisingly, the 2500A stopped reading and writing CD’s on Jan/2006. I hardly ever used it to read CD’s. I tried to fix this problem by dismantling the unit, using compressed air, and a cotton swap on the laser cover but it didn’t help.

Can I ask a question can this drive spinning at full speed be the cause of scratching disks? I noticed if I use DVDShrink and try to do it straight from the disk, rather than ripping after it’s done I noticed the disk gets scratched to hell. First time this has happened with any burner I’ve owned.

If any drive is scratching disks, under any circumstances, it is not normal. No optical drive should ever scratch any disk. If this is occurring, you should immediately return or replace the drive. How old is the drive?

Before you conclude your drive is scratching disks, carefully check the surface of your disk before inserting it. Note any preexisting scratches. Run the disk through various operations, remove it, and then observe if it has more scratches on it. Any circumferential (moving parallel to the circumference) scratches, anywhere on the disk, even if they are only ½ an inch long, are the most harmful.

Yes, playing movies at high speed causes your disks to get scratched with dust particles.

This is my update regarding my NEC ND-3550A purchase: I returned it for a refund.

My 3550A is now awaiting garbage pickup
Replaced with Plextor 760A

You get what you pay for, I just learned that, $40 for the NEC, or $125 for the Plextor

It’s worth the extra money not to deal with the problems associated with this drive IMO
That and picking one of the ridiculous amount of different firmwares, that from what I can tell when applied really didn’t change much of anything for me…

The “ridiculous” amount of unofficial firmwares exist for the benefit of CDFreaks users who want just the right firmware for their drive, and are the results of firmware modifications by Liggy and Dee-27.

The amount of official firmware versions available for the ND-3550A is quite limited, however.

I wish you luck with your new Plextor PX-760. :slight_smile:

Not to discredit what Liggy and Dee-27 have done, they are awesome and I hope other users can benefit from their work.

Unfortunately, I was not able to, but that was more a problem related to NEC then Liggy and Dee-27

Keep up the good work

I am loving the new Plextor